Laura Heaton's blog


Laura Heaton is the Writer-Editor for the blog, Enough Said. Before joining the Enough team, Laura worked on media-related projects in Rwanda and as a journalist and health consultant in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most recently she was a consultant for Family Health International, a global public health organization, and Project Akilah, a start-up, non-profit working with young women in Rwanda. Between periods of working abroad, Laura has held editing and reporting positions at Agence France-Presse and United Press International in Washington, D.C. Laura received her B.A. in international relations with a human rights concentration from Connecticut College.


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Eastern Congo Braces for Election Results

With the announcement of Congo’s next president expected before midnight tonight, though possibly delayed, the restive eastern part of the country is quiet but wary about what tomorrow might bring.

According to the preliminary count by the national electoral commission, tallied by province, Kabila is leading in both North and South Kivu but doesn’t carry a majority in either province. But unlike in other parts of the country, a Kabila victory will likely spur a greater calm in the East than any other electoral outcome.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday.  Read More »

In Kenya, Divided Opinions on Arrest Warrant for Sudan’s Bashir

Omar al-Bashir - AP

An arrest warrant issued this week by the Kenyan high court for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir set off a new diplomatic row. In spite of initial remarks by the Sudan foreign ministry that downplayed the warrant—chalking it up to an internal Kenyan power play on a politically sensitive issue—the ministry announced Tuesday that the Kenyan ambassador was being given 72 hours notice to leave the country.  Read More »

Directing Attention to Congo for the Country’s Election

When lawyer Emmanuel Katcha*, a father of two, casts his vote in Congo’s presidential election on Monday, he said he will be voting for change. “My voice is like teacher's red pen that I want to use to proofread errors of those in power,” Katcha said, adding that he is frustrated that Congo’s leaders seem to see themselves as “gods, superhuman,” and above the rest of the Congolese. “We deserve patriotic leaders,” he said.

With far less international fanfare than the country’s first elections stirred in 2006, Congolese will vote in countrywide presidential and legislative elections. The lead-up to the polls has been tumultuous.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday.  Read More »

Congo Dispatch: Kabila After Five Years – A Personal Retrospective

With voting just three weeks away in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s only second multi-party election since independence, Enough Project field researcher Fidel Bafilemba considers incumbent President Joseph Kabila’s legacy and the way the election process has shaped up to strongly lean in his favor. Bafilemba, who was born and raised in eastern Congo, reflects on the ambitious plan laid out by Kabila five years ago and about how, in the absence of much to show for his tenure, the president is looking for other ways to secure is re-election.  Read More »

Photo Installation in D.C. to Raise Profile of Somalia Crisis

Family transporting aid on a donkey cart in southern Somalia - AP

With large swaths of Somalia inaccessible due to the policies of the militant al-Shabaab group, and hundreds of thousands still suffering in areas controlled by the Somali government, the need for attention to the crisis remains urgent. A multi-media exhibition at George Washington University this week aims to raise the profile of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in East Africa.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Enough Project

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday.  Read More »

5 Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

A weekly round-up of must-read stories, posted every Friday.  Read More »

Somalia Report: Peace-Building as if People Mattered

Muhumed Surow grieves daughter's death, Somalia - AP

At an event focused on food security this week, Vice President Biden emphasized the role of the militant group al-Shabaab in exacerbating the famine in Somalia. But less often emphasized is the role that Somalia’s transitional government is playing in hindering the delivery of aid to those in need.

“Given the bizarre and extremist behavior of Shabaab, it is not clear that the West and the United Nations can realistically do much to help the 500,000 famine victims trapped in territory under its control,” writes Somalia expert Ken Menkhaus in a new paper for Enough. “But there is no excuse for famine-related deaths to occur in areas that the [Transitional Federal Government] controls.”  Read More »

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